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The Silence

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,692 ratings  ·  358 reviews
Combining the emotional power and dual narrative style of 'Before We Were Yours' with the nuanced, layered, and atmospheric mystery of 'The Dry', a powerful debut novel revolving around a shocking disappearance, two neighbor families, and shameful secrets from the past that refuse to stay buried.

It is 1997, and in a basement flat in Hackney, Isla Green is awakened by a cal
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 19th 2020 by William Morrow
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,692 ratings  ·  358 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is powerful, stunning, heart wrenching debut enlightens a shameful area of Australian history: separation of children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. This sensitive subject reminds you of another emotional historical novel: ”Before we were yours” and the book’s mysterious, intense, layered and high tension atmosphere reminds you of Jane Harper’s novels.
It’s told in two different time frames: we’re moving back and forth between 1967 and 1997 to solve the pieces of the pu
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: This is the thing she couldn't put her finger on, that she should have known was wrong from the start. Her dad hasn't called her in the decade she has lived in London. It's her mum who makes the phone calls, leaves messages on the answerphone. Her dad writes letters. He hates the phone.

'What is it?'

'I didn't want you to hear it from your mother. She hasn't taken it well. I wanted to tell you myself.'

She drops her head between her knees. She thinks, if he's going to die, I'll need a dri
Diane S ☔
Sep 25, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 A mystery thirty years in the making. A young woman who has gone missing, a disappearance that is just now being investigated. Isla, returns home as her father requests as he has been drawn into the investigation. So what happened all those years ago?

Father daughter relationships and a mystery. Atmospheric but slowly paced. What I liked best about this book is that it confronts head on the taking of the children of the aborigines. A few emotional rendering scenes and a man who confronts his
What a fantastic surprise this was. An absolute must read. Highly recommend.

Imagine it's the middle of the night, your phone is ringing and it's your Dad calling. You answer and your beloved father tells you he might be in some trouble. It seems he may have been the last person to see a neighbor alive...thirty years ago.

This is how our story begins.

If you love Jane Harper or Tana French, I strongly urge you to read this book. The writing captures the slow dissolution of hope in almost every cha
Louise Wilson
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
When Mandy, goes missing, its presumed that her neighbour, Joe killed her as he was the last person to see her. Joe and Louisa were still settling into their new lives after emigrating to Australia. Mandy's husband, Steve was part of a police team in the sixties that were removing Aboriginal children from their homes and placing them in care homes. Joe's daughter, Isla goes to Australia to support her father.

The story is set over two timelines 1960-1990. It's told from Mandy and Isla's perspect
The Silence is not the most uplifting of novels, but that's because it was quite realistic in its portrayal of real suburban families and how much disfunction there can be behind perfectly maintained facades and lawns.

It's 1997, Isla Green is living in the UK, when she gets a call from her father telling her that the police think he's a suspect in the disappearance of a next-door neighbour, Mandy. Nobody has heard from her for thirty years and Isla Green's father, Joe, is, according to police, t
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
*This one is now available!

4 Australian mystery stars

This is a clever debut novel set in Australia with a mystery involved. We have Isla Green as our main character. She currently lives in London but has spent most of her life in Sydney. She has been called back to Australia to help her family as her father is a suspect in a case dating back 30 years. She’s been sober for a few months, but definitely has a drinking problem like her father.

The story alternates between 1967 and 1997 with Isla’s fa
It is always a treat when you read a debut novel that is written with the skill of a more seasoned novelist. "The Silence" is just such a book.

This is a book about dysfunction. In families and in social justice. Rife with family secrets, shame, moral quandaries, apologies, and betrayal, the novel depicts how secrecy, alcoholism, adultery, and spousal abuse all serve to play a part in the history of two neighbouring families.

Also, the book sheds light on a fact of Australian history that I was pr
Carolyn Walsh
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a huge fan of Jane Harper, I have come to love Australian mysteries/thrillers, and I'm happy to add Susan Allott to that list! This deubt work impressed me, and after a drought of mediocre, 3-star reads, it was a 4-star breath of fresh air for me!

The book opens with Isla Green, who is living in London, receiving a phone call from her father, Joe. From it we learn that Isla's parents' friend and neighbor Mandy, who also sometimes cared for Isla, disappeared thirty years prior, in 1967, and th
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

The Silence by Susan Allott. (2020).

It's 1997 and in London, Isla is woken by a phone call from her father Joe in Sydney. 30 years ago in 1967 their neighbour Mandy disappeared. There has been no trace of her and Joe was allegedly the last person to see her alive, and now he's a murder suspect. In 1967, Isla's mother is homesick after emigrating from England but her husband Joe loves their life in Australia. Next door, Mandy doesn't w
Liz Barnsley
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m being spoilt with great reads lately and here is another one to watch in 2020, Susan Allott’s “The Silence” a quietly emotional and beautifully written novel which has a dark sense of nostalgia to it even as it touches on deeply emotive issues.

Two families live side by side, one of their number disappears, a disappearance not noted until over 30 years later. Enter Isla, drawn back to the childhood home she has avoided, thrown by emerging secrets and her own jagged memories..

The Silence revis
A slow burn mystery set in Sydney Australia, a woman goes missing and after a phone call 30 years later the missing pieces are sewn together in this dual timeline story.

The pacing is slow which allows you to get to know the central characters better. In unravelling the past many family secrets are uncovered, there is a common thread of deep sadness of kept secrets causing damage to all of the relationships, the brutality of alcoholism a way to deal with the pain and hidden suffering. The Silenc
The Silence is an unsettling mystery which is told in two timelines. In 1997, Isla is living and working in London when she is contacted by her father, Joe, in Australia. The police say Joe was the last person to see the family’s neighbour, Mandy, before she went missing in 1967 and, if they find her body, he will be their chief suspect in the murder case.

Returning to Australia is an emotional rollercoaster for Isla. Spending time with Joe, her alcoholic father, and Louisa, her bitter mother, is
Apr 27, 2020 rated it liked it
A pretty solid mystery novel with lots of layers to unravel. Sadly, none of the characters had much depth and it kept a distance for me with the story. I just wasn’t invested.
Louise Fein
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Silence is a complex, deeply moving and brilliantly written book about an uncomfortable, shameful piece of Australian/British history. It is about flawed people, difficult relationships, buried memories and a compelling mystery about a missing woman. But at the heart of the book is the painful and deeply disturbing history of the separation of children from their Aboriginal families by the State. This is a story which needs to be told and the author has achieved this in an intelligent, sensi ...more
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, crime
This was a terrific read. The Silence of the title refers to society’s silence on the forced removal of aboriginal children from their homes. This is a sad story of betrayal, violence, alcoholism, infidelity and loss. Many thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book.
Fiona Mitchell
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this impressive and beautifully written, Australian-set debut with the devastating subject of the Stolen Generation at its core - children of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who were removed from their families over a period of some sixty years.

The Silence takes its readers into two time frames - 1967 and thirty years later. It is 1997 when it finally comes to light that Mandy, wife to Steve - one of the police officers responsible for removing Abor
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it

discover the locations in the novel

This is a book I nave been waiting to read but without knowing it. It looks at the forced removal of Aboriginal children from their families in the early 1900s and the consequences.

This then leads into other issues about relations between Australia and Britain. What a period of history this was! Shocking and cruel and I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of the events this book deals with.

This then the powerful background, the main story starts with a young girl ret
“I realised my life was going to be shaped by my husband. His choices, his decisions. Anything WAS possible, but only for him.”

Family loyalties.

The legacy of secrets.

The legacy of shame.

It was the cover of THE SILENCE which first attracted my attention, but Erin Kelly’s description was the thing that sealed the deal for me: a book that “excavates dark, decades-old secrets buried in human hearts, in families and in nations.” I can never resist a book about dark family secrets, and was looking for
May 27, 2020 added it
Shelves: audio, dnf, overdrive
Two unhappy marriages. Just not for me.
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: librarything
Isla Green has received a middle of the night call from her father. He has been questioned by the police about the disappearance of a woman thirty years ago. Apparently, her father was the last person to have seen his neighbor, Mandy, and there has been no trace of her since then. Isla returns to Australia to support her father and secrets of the past begin to unfold.

I absolutely loved this book and it held my attention like nothing else has been able to. I kept being pulled deeper and deeper in
The Book Review Café
Every now and then I need a break from my usual reading habits, I look for a book that’s different to my usual ‘go to reads’, I read the book description for The Silence by Susan Allott and it immediately piqued my interest. This book has a mystery at its heart, but it has so much more to offer, it’s a brilliantly written book that touches on a shocking time in Australian history.

The Silence Is a tale that explores abusive and toxic relationships, and buried disturbing secrets. I must admit alt
Melanie Garrett
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved The Silence not just for the quality of the writing (luminous) or the finesse with which the twists and turns were meted out, but also for the ease with which the setting assimilates the reader into the Australian mindsets of the 1960s. Because the story is so gripping I didn’t even realise how much cultural information I was being cleverly spooned so that I’d have it to hand just as it then turned into a clue, and I had the satisfaction of thinking, Oh, but of course! (as I convinced my ...more
Vikki Patis
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deeply moving and utterly gripping, The Silence surprised me in its complexity and depth. It is not just a well-written mystery, but also a window into the truth of British and Australian history, the horrors the British empire has committed over the centuries, and the ways in which the indigenous peoples of Australia were harmed by those in power.
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
In 1997, Isla Fisher is in her mid 30s and living in London. She has recently admitted to herself that she is an alcoholic - as, we will learn, is her father. In the middle of the night her father, Joe, rings to tell her that the Police are investigating the disappearance of their next door neighbour, Mandy, 30 years ago. Apparently Joe was the last person to see her alive and he is a suspect in her presumed murder.

Isla flies back to Sydney where she finds her parent's - always rocky - marriage
Tammy Woodard
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. I liked how it went back and forth from 1967 to 1997. Many layers to this book as you continue reading you uncover more and more secrets between 2 neighboring families.
I won this ARC from a Goodread's giveaway and highly recommend it.
Kristin (Always With a Book)
I loved that this book was not a fast-paced thriller, but rather a quiet, emotional story that has a dark undertone to it and delves into secrets long buried.

Full review is up on the blog:
Nica's Musings
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
First novel I read from the author. I am a mystery & thriller genre girl and I wasn't expecting this type of ending. However, I wanted to keep an open mind as not all books are written the same and I should not be basing my review solely on what I expected for it to end. I would describe it as anticlimactic. Enjoyed reading the book nevertheless. It reminded me somehow of The Dry by Jane Harper in terms of the environment.

The story was about a woman who's gone missing 30 years back. It was told
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Silence by Susan Allott is a debut novel that alternates between events in 1967 and a murder investigation in 1997 involving the same individuals. Joe and his wife, Louisa, are neighbors to Steve and his wife, Mandy, in 1967 in Sydney, Australia. There are troubles in both marriages, as well as alcoholism, and infidelity occurs between the couples. In 1997, Isla, daughter to Joe and Louisa, receives a call in the night from her father telling her he is being investigated for the disappearanc ...more
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